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Justin Timberlake joins fight against Byhalia Pipeline

The Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission has both passed ordinances against the pipeline.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:52 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis native and music superstar Justin Timberlake took to Instagram on Earth Day posting on his Instagram story to his 60 million followers supporting the grassroots organization Memphis Community Against the Pipeline that is fighting against the proposed Byhalia oil Pipeline.

“That’s extremely exciting to have the endorsement of someone like Justin Timberlake who’s a Memphian, who believes that we have to protect our drinking water and who wants Memphians to know that he supports us but people around the country and around the world to know that it’s important that we protect our natural resources,” Justin J. Pearson, Co-Founder Memphis Community Against the Pipeline said.

Justin J. Pearson is the co-founder of MCAP.

He says the 49-mile oil pipeline would endanger Memphis’ drinking water in the sand aquifer and amounts to environmental racism, traveling through majority black neighborhoods.

Locally, the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission has both passed ordinances against the pipeline.

Additionally, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland have publicly come out against the pipeline as well.

“Our city is accomplishing a lot to create justice,” Pearson said. “A consensus is building with the support of our elected leaders.”

On Tuesday, City Council Member Dr. Jeff Warren delayed a city council vote two weeks on an ordinance that would stop all oil pipelines from being built in Memphis without special permit approval.

Plains All American requested a two-week “mutual pause” on the ordinance claiming to consider alternate routes, but councilman Warren says his pause was not to appease the pipeline company.

“The reason that we did a two-week pause is we got word from the Memphis chamber of commerce there were some local businesses that had questions and wanted to have some input,” Dr. Jeff Warren, Memphis City Council Member said.

“We need our city council to choose to protect Memphis’ drinking water on May 4th. That is our main focus,” Pearson said.

Plains All American disputes MCAP’s belief that their pipeline would threaten the drinking water and say the City council ordinance is government overreach.

They believe the ordinance would affect many local businesses negatively and would not stand up to legal scrutiny.

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